When it comes to adopting a new pet, the old saying is certainly true
Caveat Emptor: Adopter Beware..........
A NEW PET MUST NEVER BE AN "IMPULSE BUY"
Selecting a new pet for your household is a major decision. A commitment which must
not be taken lightly - it is a decision that will affect the pet for the rest of its life.
Before adopting a new pet, it is very important to research your needs as a pet owner:
- How much time commitment can you make to the pet daily?
- Do you frequently leave town for days or weeks at a time: for pleasure or business?
- If you are gone, who will take care of the pet: friend, family member, boarding kennel?
- Do you have the financial resources to care for a pet?
- Pet's require food, grooming, routine and emergency medical care.
- What species of pet will fit easiest into your household and life style pattern?
- We generally think of pets as dogs and cats; maybe a rabbit, rodent,
bird or reptile would be a better fit. If a dog, what breed, what size,
what personality type?
- DO YOUR RESEARCH: GO TO THE LIBRARY, TALK TO YOUR VETERINARIAN,
- How much grooming does the animal require?
some must be brushed daily, others may need a light combing a few times a
year; some require regular cleaning of skin folds, others just an occasional
- What is the natural energy level for this type of pet? Will it require lots of
exercise, or just an overstuffed pillow?
- How smart is this type of pet? Will it require constant entertainment and work, or
be content to entertain itself?
Where should you obtain your new pet from?
- Private Breeder - Maybe?
- Pet Store? [in my opinion - NO - for more information: check out defendthedogs.com]
- Rescue agency - Generally a Good Choice
- Flea Market? [in my opinion - NO!]
- Pet "Farmer": [in my opinion - NO!] A pet "farmer" is an individual with one or more animals that they keep and breed for supplemental income. While their "pets" may be pure bred, and may even be "show quality", they do not have any competition points and the owners are not interested in supporting the breed organization. They generally do not do background checks on the buyers, follow-up with the buyers, and frequently do not accept returns. They will sell pets to pet stores or to the general public. This is a broader term for "puppy mills", but includes any species, not just dogs.
- You should always obtain a pet from a responsible, committed source.
- Someone who can answer all of your questions.
- Someone who will be there afterward to help you with problems, if they develop,
as you try to introduce your new pet into the household.
- Someone who is very knowledgeable about the individual pet you are getting as
well as the breed in general.
- Someone who will be willing to take the pet back (or better yet, require you to return the pet)
if things do not work out.
? Warning: If you buy a purebred pet and are told that it is eligible for registration at the time of purchase, you are entitled to receive the registration application form from the seller. If the proper paperwork is not available, you should assume that it will not be available in the future. For AKC registered dogs, if the application is not available, you must receive in writing:
- Breed of dog
- Date of birth of the dog you're acquiring
- Sex of dog, color, and markings
- Registered name and number of the dog's sire (father)
- Registered name and number of the dog's dam (mother)
- AKC litter number - if the litter is not registered, the puppies can not be registered
- Name of breeder
- Date of sale or delivery of puppy
- Signature of seller
When acquiring a purebred dog that is eligible of AKC registration, don't be misled by promises of "papers" to come later. Demand a registration application or proper identification in writing as described above. If neither is supplied, don't buy the dog!
This is sound advice whether purchasing a dog, cat, or any other "purebred" pet, regardless of the species, registry, or type.
Rescue groups are excellent sources of pets regardless of whether you are looking for a pure breed or mix. Lots of excellent pets are abandoned every day for numerous reasons, many of them not related to their quality as a pet.
Regarding rescue groups: the best ones work to not only find homes for their charges by carefully matching the animals needs with the potential owner's, but also to educate owners, and even work with the legal system to try to reduce the need for future rescues, whether by promoting better pet identification, restricting pet roaming, or working to end puppy mills or other abusive or potentially abusive misuse of animals.
Private breeders are another excellent source of pets. The best work with their local club to promote their breed (whether a reptile/amphibian"Hoosier Herpetological Society", dog "Hoosier Kennel Club" or "Central Indiana Kennel Club", or cat "Cat Fanciers Association" and others ). Being a member of a breeder or owner organization is a good indicator that the individual is a responsible breeder: is interested in learning about, and promoting responsible pet ownership. It is also an indication that the breeder is committed to "their" animals, and more likely to be available later for advice or help, should it be needed.
Finally, when adopting a new pet, it is VERY important to do it for the correct reasons.
- as mentioned before: A NEW PET MUST NEVER BE AN "IMPULSE BUY"
- you must never buy or adopt a pet "to get it out of a bad situation", because
you feel sorry for it. This is especially important with pet store or bad breeder purchases.
Bad breeders, and bad pet stores that sell pets are encouraged to breed or buy more
pets in order to sell them as well, the only way to end the suffering of pets in these
circumstances is to make them responsible for the animals they are trying to sell, and if
necessary, notify the correct authorities so that the facility can be shut down.
- You must not become an Animal Hoarder